Warriors draft look: Centers

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Warriors draft look: Centers

Draft note: In the hours leading up to tonight's NBA Draft, Insider Matt Steinmetz will be conducting his final NBA mock draft beginning this morning at 10 a.m., and will pick a player every 15 minutes. Follow along all day long right here on CSNBayArea.com! The Warriors head into Thursdays NBA draft with four selections: The No. 7 pick, the No. 30 pick, the No. 35 pick and the No. 52 pick. While the Warriors would seem to have four positions pretty much set point guard, shooting guard, power forward and center the reality is that they could go in any direction come draft day.Leading up to Thursday, well rank the top players at each position, and see whether or not they could fit into the Warriors draft plans.CENTERSAndre Drummond, Connecticut, 6-10, 270 pounds: The drafts biggest enigma is the drafts biggest player. Drummond has all the physical skills, size and athleticism to become a big-time NBA center.But there are concerns about his bust potential. His critics say Drummond doesnt take the game seriously enough and will have great difficulty dealing with the competitiveness of the league.His backers say hes young, is still growing as a person and a player that is on the right track.Warriors angle: : There is a possibility that Drummond will be available when the Warriors select at No. 7. That means general manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob have a decision to make: Do they take a young, raw big man who is a project or do they bypass him for something more certain?RELATED: Did Jerry West rule out drafting Andre Drummond?
Warriors minority owner Jerry West said on Chronicle Live on Wednesday that the Warriors needed a player who could help immediately and not one who needed two years to develop. That doesnt bode well for the Warriors picking Drummond.Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, 7-0, 250 pounds: He is big, he can run the floor and he is pro ready. But most believe that he doesnt have much of an upside and he is what he is.On the other end, Zeller is the kind of finished product who could probably step in right away and be a part of a teams rotation.Warriors angle: In many ways, Zeller would be a good fit for the Warriors. Hes good enough to be the first big man off the bench right now for Golden State and thats nothing to scoff at.Still, it might be a reach to pick Zeller with the No. 7 pick. If the Warriors end up with Zeller, chances are they moved back to do it.Meyers Leonard, Illinois, 7-1, 245 pounds: Its a little peculiar why Leonard isnt getting the kind of attention that Drummond is getting. After all, the two are very similar: both have big bodies, both are athletic and both have room for growth.Strange thing is, Leonard no doubt has a higher motor. It just doesnt add up.Warriors angle: The Warriors need to get more athletic, and Leonard is as big and athletic as it gets. Most figure Leonard will go somewhere after No. 10, so if the Warriors pick him it means they really like him.Chances are, Leonard will only be a Warrior if they trade back.Fab Melo, Syracuse, 7-0, 255 pounds: If youre looking for a big body, a space-eater, if you will, Melo might be your man. There are questions, however, about Melos character after being suspended at the end of Syracuses season.Warriors angle: There is talk that Melo could be slipping from the early 20s to possibly the second round. If Melo is there at No. 30, the Warriors would have to give him a look.Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt, 6-11, 255 pounds: Ezeli certainly isnt the most athletic player in the draft, but hes a proven rebounder and he doesnt mind doing the dirty work. Hes a very mature player off the court, and after picking the game up at a young age, has improved every year hes played.Warriors angle: Ezeli, like Melo, might be gone by the time the Warriors use their second pick in the first round No. 30. But if Ezeli is there, its tough to see them passing on him. Ezeli is not exactly like Ekpe Udoh, whom the Warriors traded in the deal for Andrew Bogut, but there are comparisons to be made there.

Report: W's encouraged by KD's rehab, hopeful for regular season return

Report: W's encouraged by KD's rehab, hopeful for regular season return

When the Warriors announced the severity of Kevin Durant's knee injury, they did not rule out a return before the end of the regular season.

And based on the progress of his rehab, the team is "hopeful" but "cautiously optimistic" that Durant will indeed play before the end of the regular season, according to ESPN.

The Warriors have 11 games remaining on their schedule and their final regular season game is April 12 against the Lakers.

On Tuesday, prior to the Warriors game against Dallas, Durant was seen working out on the court and putting up jump shots.

Just a day earlier, Durant worked up a good sweat while riding a stationary bike in Oklahoma City.

Durant is expected to be re-evaluated by the Warriors' medical staff next week.

After initially struggling without Durant, the Warriors have won five straight games. Durant sat on the bench for the road wins in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

Over the weekend, Warriors PG Stephen Curry and PF Draymond Green addressed Durant's recovery.

“You can tell he’s making improvements and following the game plan,” Curry told the media. “I see him in the weight room doing cardio stuff trying to stay as close to game shape as he can while he’s hurt. You like to see improvements every day. We still don’t know when he’ll be back.”

“When he’s ready, we’ll know,” Green told the media. “But it’s not really our job to try to figure out every day how he’s doing. You can kind of see he’s getting better and you just leave it at that.”

 

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

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USATSI

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

SAN FRANCISCO -- He is among the greatest basketball coaches ever to walk a sideline. Creative and abrasive, accomplished yet unfulfilled, all wrapped in a 6-foot-7 package of Svengali.

Some say Don Nelson, who served two stints coaching the Warriors, was brutally honest, others insist needlessly cruel. There is little dispute, though, that “Nellie” could be as subjective as the sun is hot.

If you were one of “his guys,” you could do little wrong.

If you weren’t, you knew it early and you heard it often -- as former Warriors center Adonal Foyle, who was on the roster for 10 seasons, discovered in 2006.

“Don Nelson told me the first day he showed up at the gym: ‘You suck. You’ll never play for me. You make too much money.’ That was it,“ Foyle recalled Tuesday on the Warriors Insider Podcast.

“And he was having a cigar when he did it.”

Foyle, who returned to the Warriors in 2014 to serves as a Community Ambassador, clearly enjoyed his time with the “We Believe” Warriors, despite and because of the presence of Nelson. Foyle quickly learned about the two sides of Nellie.

Nelson had favorites. There was, in his first stint coaching the Warriors, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, to name two. In his second stint, there was Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.

Yet the list of those who could not seem to escape Nelson’s doghouse may have been longer, including the likes of Terry Teagle, Tyrone Hill, Sarunas Marciulionis and, later, Al Harrington, Ike Diogu, Marco Belinelli. Nelson’s most famous object of disgust was, of course, Chris Webber.

Foyle, who logged 1,824 minutes before Nelson’s arrival in 2006, played only 475 minutes in 2006-07.

“I knew I wasn’t going to play, because he made it clear,” Foyle recalled. “So I could be pissed off. I could be angry.

“I’m just going to be there. I’m just going to do my job the best way I could for that year. And I’m just going to learn. And I’m just going to help our where I can. I’ll help my teammates out. I’ll do the job that I’m paid to do.”

Foyle, the team’s all-time leader in blocked shots (1,140), scored a total of 107 points that season. His 50 blocks ranked third on the team. His ratio of blocks, one every 9.5 minutes, led the team.

The Warriors staged a furious rally to close the season, ending a 13-year postseason drought by gaining the No. 8 seed. They pulled off an epic upset, stunning top-seeded Dallas in the first round.

The Utah Jazz in the second round eliminated the Warriors in five games, the last played on May 15.

Ninety days later, Nelson and the Warriors bought out Foyle’s contract. He spent his final two seasons in Orlando and Memphis.